When Brian was first onboarded we discussed a several areas that we would want to improve.
At 5'11' and 231lbs, he wanted to lose weight. His stressful job at Amazon and poor nutrition habits had caused him to put on weight in recent years
He had a series of injuries that cause joint instability, weakness, and pain
He had ran several races in the past and wanted to get back into running (marathons, half-marathons, 10ks, 5ks)
Whenever there are multiple goals, it's important to pick one to focus on. The first one we agreed to focus on was to target weight loss and stress management. We set calories and started meditating using Headspace.
From here we set protein to 0.8g * lb. Another way this was calculated was 1.0g per lb of ideal bodyweight. Fat was set at 0.35% of his calories and carbs made up the rest.
As you can see, he started in a deficit rather quickly so we were able to guess his maintenance was around 2,500.
The second thing we implemented in addition to tracking calories was meditation. You can see on the far right side that Brian started daily meditation using headspace.
Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and aid heart rate variability which is associated with better recovery.
Training - Phase 1
We started training 2x a week using total-body sessions. The goal was to introduce fundamental movement patterns and build some efficiency while also identifying pain from variations.
We tracked weight moved week to week to continue to progress week to week. A lot of the weight improvement would have been neuromuscular as opposed to actually putting on muscle, but this is a great way to visibly see progression from a strength standpoint. When paired with weight improvements, it is highly motivating.
We followed these training and nutrition programs up through the end of Christmas. During this time, we took a diet break and a training break to let him enjoy his holidays and reset his metabolism. After 16 weeks of being in a deficit, it's important to take time at maintenance to allow hormones and the metabolism to recover. This helps prevent metabolic adaptation, which would set his maintenance calories to a lower number.
Brian, being the data-driven Amazonian he is, made this trend line to show the first 4 months of progress. He had this to say in an email.
"My trendlines are 205 lbs for end of Jan, and 200 lbs for end of Feb. If you remember, I previously thought those were unrealistic goals, now they are just weeks away from being hit. I will have lost over 30 lbs in 6 months if I hit it.
Pretty awesome! Thanks for all the coaching and support!"
This is important to call out because it's the biggest mental obstacle that people face. They set limits on what is possible. This is where coaching comes in because a good coach helps set reasonable expectations while also knowing what is possible if the process is followed with consistency.
Once we got back from the holidays we had another 3 months of strength training, but this time we moved more towards heavier compound lifts (Bench Press, Deadlifts, Barbell Hip Thrusts).
We kept target calories at ~2,300, but we made an adjustment with the calories on off days.
On training days we set calories a little higher ~2,500. Protein at 1g/lb of bodyweight , fat at 30% of calories and carbs for the rest.
On off days we set calories at 1,900. Protein at 0.9g/lb, fat at 40% and carbs for the remainder.
This was to help him recover after harder training days that would have been more taxing than what we had done in the past. The off days at a lower calorie level worked because he wasn't training. So his body didn't need as much energy and it also improved metabolic flexibility, making his body better at using fats and carbs for energy.
Around Mid-March, we were impacted by COVID-19 and moved into an online coaching model.
With everyone in quarantine, we started with at-home circuit workouts using his kettlebells and resistance bands.
He also started getting into running more and started a couch to 5k.
By March, his weight was 200.3. Over 30lbs down in 24 weeks. At this pace, we were really happy because this meant we were losing weight at a sustainable pace.
We transitioned our coaching to an online coaching model where I made him at home workout programs, checked in on mental health due to the lockdown, and provided yoga and mobility resources to make sure he stayed healthy with more running in his schedule.
This phase was more about focusing on what we could control than anything else. COVID put a hole in our plans, but we knew we could still follow proper nutrition, keep movement high with running and lift weights to maintain strength levels
Increase Mobility with FRC, Yoga & Breathwork. Focus on recovery using WHOOP.
In July we reassessed goals and decided it was best to focus on more mobility and flexibility.
The strength training had improved movement quality, motor recruitment, and helped aid in weight loss, but for the last two months we really dialed in.
This was also an emphasis due to the high-stress days at work. OP1 at Amazon is a high-stress time and it made sense to focus on more parasympathetic.
We utilized WHOOP to measure his sleep, recovery and strain.
Science tells us that you don’t get stronger in the gym (that’s what breaks you down), you actually get stronger during rest. Sleep can be the forgotten third of your life. It’s the period to repair, regenerate and prime your mind and body for peak performance.
WHOOP measures not only how long you sleep, but the time spent in each stage to better understand sleep quality. The WHOOP Sleep Coach tells you exactly how much sleep you need to reach your desired performance level the next day.
WHOOP calculates your recovery based on 4 physiological markers: Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Resting Heart Rate (RHR), sleep, and respiratory rate. These metrics are calibrated to your baseline, which means your recovery is personalized each day.
Every heartbeat and every hour counts. By wearing WHOOP 24/7, you’ll get feedback on every moment of the day, whether you’re exercising, resting, or going about your daily life. Your strain will reveal how your body is responding to things like stress, travel, and work, so you can make smarter decisions when it comes to recovery.
Weight - 173
Hip Thrust - 265
Deadlift - 245
Bench Press - 145
5K PR - 29:21
One of the keys of nutrition is consistency. These foods made up 85% of his calories on the last 90 days. The more consistent you are with your nutrition, the easier it is to meal plan and the easier it is on your body to process the same foods.
Left After // Right Before
At 14.7% Body Fat we are in a perfect spot to start building muscle and strength which will be the next focus.
For males, the ideal BF level is between 10-15% when looking to build muscle because it ensures enough hormonal production and recovery to build.
We'll work on putting on 2lbs a month and then cut down as necessary as body fat gets above 15%.
If you are interested in talking about your fitness goals, schedule a free consultation to start your own journey today!